O2 Fitness Food of the Week: Eggplant

Eggplant is a very good source of fiber and vitamin B1, and is rich in antioxidants. It also contains a good amount of vitamin B6, niacin, potassium, folate and vitamin K. Eggplant is a great low calorie option and can be baked, roasted or steamed. When purchasing, select eggplants that are firm and heavy for their size. Their skin should be smooth and shiny.

Eggplant Parmesan

 Makes 10 servings

Eggplant Parmesan

Ingredients:

Eggplant:

  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 2 cups whole-wheat panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
  • ¼ cup (1 ounce) grated fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 2 (1-pound) eggplants, peeled and cut crosswise into ½-inch-thick slices $
  • Cooking spray

 Filling:

  • ½ cup torn fresh basil
  • ¼ cup (1 ounce) grated fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1-½ teaspoons minced garlic
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 (16-ounce) container part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten

Remaining ingredients:

  • 1 (24-ounce) jar premium pasta sauce
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 8 ounces thinly sliced mozzarella cheese
  • ¾ cup (3 ounces) finely grated fontina cheese

Preparation:

  • Preheat oven to 375°
  • To make eggplant, combine 2 eggs and 1 tablespoon water in a shallow dish. Combine panko and ¼ cup Parmigiano-Reggiano in a second shallow dish. Dip eggplant in egg mixture; dredge in panko mixture, pressing gently to adhere and shaking off excess. Place eggplant 1 inch apart on baking sheets coated with cooking spray. Bake at 375° for 30 minutes or until golden, turning once and rotating baking sheets after 15 minutes
  • To make filling, combine basil and next 6 ingredients (through egg).
  • To assemble, spoon ½ cup pasta sauce in bottom of a 13 x 9-inch glass baking dish coated with cooking spray. Layer half of eggplant slices over pasta sauce. Sprinkle eggplant with ⅛ teaspoon salt. Top with about ¾ cup pasta sauce; spread half of ricotta mixture over sauce, and top with a third of mozzarella and ¼ cup fontina. Repeat layers once, ending with about 1 cup pasta sauce. Cover tightly with aluminum foil coated with cooking spray. Bake at 375° for 35 minutes. Remove foil; top with remaining third of mozzarella and ¼ cup fontina. Bake at 375° for 10 minutes or until sauce is bubbly and cheese melts; cool 10 minutes.

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